My favourite place: Vietnam

In the July 2017 issue of BBC History Magazine, Sasha Mullally selects Vietnam as her favourite place. History Extra caught up with her to find out more...

A Vietnamese woman with a food cart on the street in Hoi An Ancient Town, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam

Q: When did you last travel to Vietnam and why were you there?

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I travelled to Vietnam over January and February 2015, during my last sabbatical.

Q: Why do you love the location?

I really love the people. Vietnam has an excellent hospitality culture, and as a woman travelling alone I felt very safe and welcomed wherever I went, and I often strayed off the beaten path.

Q: What top 3 sights would you recommend people visit there, and why?

The War Remnants Museum in HCMC, because of the fascinating way the Vietnamese tell their side of the story of the “American War”.

Ha Long Bay, which, despite the tourist throngs, is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. A short day trip from Hanoi. Take at least an overnight junk cruise, you won’t want to cut this short.

Hoi An, for the arts and crafts, the gorgeous historic buildings downtown, the nearby My Son Cham ruins, and the wonderful beach a short bike tour away.

Q: During what period of its history would you most wanted to have visited this location and why?

I would have wanted to see the last Cham civilisation.

Q: Where else in the world would you most like to visit and why?

It’s a tough call but I would like to visit some of the islands in the South Pacific; I have an affinity for islands and coasts.

Sasha Mullally is associate professor at the department of history, University of New Brunswick.

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You can read more about Sasha’s adventures in Vietnam in the July issue of BBC History Magazine – out now